With so much mystery surrounding the project, anytime even the smallest amount of information on The Dark Knight Rises leaks out, it calls for examination. The latest bit of info comes from Anne Hathaway’s interview in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar. In the article, the actress officially cast as “Selina Kyle” — and not necessarily Selina Kyle’s alter ego, Catwoman, since a Warner Bros. press release makes no mention of the slinky character — discusses the toll her “rigorous exercise and stunt training” are taking on her toenails. On top of her exercise routine, Hathaway also puts in an hour of dance training immediately after each day’s workout.
Since the news of her casting, there have been only a few clues hinting at how involved Kyle’s Catwoman persona would be in The Dark Knight Rises story. In March, during a segment on Oprah, Hathaway referred to her character as Catwoman for the first time, setting fans’ imaginations ablaze. This latest interview only seems to confirm a more physical role as Kyle, and presence of Catwoman is strongly hinted at in the story. A combination of stunt training and dance certainly sounds like prep work for a role as Gotham’s most notorious whip-toting jewel thief, so maybe there will be more Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises than fans first expected.
But just how much should Catwoman factor into The Dark Knight Rises, and, considering the character’s notoriously shifty allegiances, will she be another villain or fight alongside Batman?
While details on the film’s story are more than scant — we’re left to guess based on the cast list — reports from the set have shed some light on other characters, but still make no mention of Catwoman. One of the main strengths of director Christopher Nolan’s first two Batman movies was their respect for the source material. It’s unlikely Nolan would cast Catwoman as a clear hero or villain — and he shouldn’t. Adding a character who toes (or paws?) the line between good and evil makes for a more interesting movie, and it’s truer to the character. Plus, placing Catwoman in the middle helps avoid the all-too-common Too Many Villains Syndrome.
It is good news to hear that Hathaway is training for stunts. Having Selina Kyle around without any Catwoman fight scenes would undoubtedly disappoint, but too much of her would be far worse. (Right, Halle?) Ideally, Catwoman will show up, kick some ass, mess with Batman’s head, and ultimately teach him something. If Nolan is smart — which he is — he’ll leave Catwoman ambiguous and keep the focus on the character who matters the most: Batman.